Celebrating 5 years of CEPF investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot


After 5 years of CEPF investment across the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, we would like to share some good news - and some amazing images


In September 2012, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) started investing in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, comprising a range of mountains and highlands from Saudi-Arabia and Yemen in the Middle East, to Zimbabwe and Mozambique in Southern Africa.

Since then, the Regional Implementation Team (RIT, consisting of BirdLife International, IUCN and EWNHS) have been supporting CEPF in grant-making, capacity building, monitoring and all sorts of other things. The first 5-year cycle has now come to an end, and while not all projects have been completed yet, we would like to share some facts, and some preliminary results.


  • the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot contains 15 countries, 311 Key Biodiversity Areas (though more are being identified 'as we speak'), and almost 700 globally threatened species
  • the total area of the hotspot is 1 million km2, of which only 10% is covered by its original habitat
  • 50% of the population of these 15 countries live below the poverty line


  • since 2012, CEPF and the RIT made 135 grants (79 small grants and 56 large grants) to 104 unique grantees in 13 countries
  • 70% of these grants were made to local Civil Society Organisations
  • these grantees implemented conservation, sustainable development and rapid response projects at more than 70 KBAs, including 37 priority KBAs


  • as a result of these projects (often co-financed by other donors), 2.6 m hectares of protected and unprotected KBAs are now under improved management, and 1.2 m hectares of new Protected Area have been added to the African Protected Area network
  • the RIT, with partners, has organised 13 major training programmes, involving trainees from 13 countries
  • more than 50 (of the 104) CEPF grantees received targeted project management training
  • more than 7,000 individuals across the hotspot were trained through projects

More information about the impact of CEPF's investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot is coming in on a daily basis, so these figures will be updated in the next few months. (NB These facts and results are also available on music, so if you feel like a singalong, please look at our karaoke hotspotsong on our YouTube channel here.)


To celebrate these achievements, we like to share some amazing images from the hotspot with you, kindly made available to us by Mohamed Ismail of Please scroll through the 25 images above, enjoy the beauty of the hotspot and some of the animals that live there, and don't forget to check out Mohamed's picture with Tenzing Norgay in Tibet!



See the interactive map of all projects implemented under the CEPF Eastern Afromontane Hotspot programme here.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. More information on CEPF can be found at

BirdLife International, together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (BirdLife in Ethiopia) form the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot (2012-2017). The investment will support civil society in applying innovative approaches to conservation in under-capacitated and underfunded protected areas, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and priority corridors in the region.


Read more NEWS from the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot!